When we are going through hard or challenging situations, it is easy to question why God would allow such hard things to happen. Or when we're still struggling with the same issues years later, we question why God isn't helping us more. We question if He really is a good God. We feel shattered and broken and beyond repair. We want our lives to be easy and perfect, but unfortunately, that's not the case. Jesus told us we would have trouble, but He also said He would be our peace in our trouble John 16:33. Our Bible heroes all experienced their share of trials and tribulations.
Heaven is our home, where things will be perfect, but while we are here on earth, we will see and experience brokenness all around us.
But the good news is that the brokenness has a purpose. It drives us closer to God. It gives us stories to share with others to encourage them in their own brokenness. It gives us a new purpose and motivation. And best of all, God does not abandon us in our brokenness. No, as it says in Isaiah,
"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 49:13
God will do something with your broken places if you allow Him to. If you surrender to what He is doing in your life and in your broken places.
Over the summer, I spent a week at a cabin with a peaceful view of a gorgeous lake. And one day while I was taking a walk around the lake I spotted a strong, beautiful tree with a hole in it. But the hole was a place where flowers were planted. There was life growing out of that hole. Beautiful life planted in that broken place by a loving and creative gardener.
And it reminded me of our lives. When we are going through hard circumstances, or we feel like we're broken, God can grow beautiful things from it. A new strength. A new purpose. Eyes opened to a new world we hadn't truly been privy to before. A new reliance on God that we hadn't needed before.
"But blessed is the (wo)man who trusts in the LORD, who has full confidence in Him. (S)He will be like a tree, planted by the waters that sends out its roots toward the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; it's leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:8
No matter what you're going through, stay rooted in God and His goodness and His never-ending love. Trust in Him. And be prepared to see beautiful things bloom from your broken places in ways you never expected.
Years ago I was in a marketplace in Japan when I stumbled across a stall full of pottery infused with gold and silver paint. I didn't understand what the seller was trying to explain to me about it, I just thought it was pretty. But a few years later I learned that what I saw was called Kintsukoroi. Kintsukoroi means "to repair with gold". It is the art of repairing broken pieces of pottery using either silver or gold lacquer, to make a new, beautiful, unique piece of pottery.
We have a Potter (Jeremiah 18:6, Isaiah 64:8) who can bring healing and beauty to our broken parts. Refine us, like gold tested in fire Isaiah 48:10.
"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." 1 Peter 1:6-7
It's not fun, going through trials. Being tested. Being refined. Feeling broken. But there will eventually emerge a beauty that only God can create from that brokenness.
We may have been a beautiful clay bowl before, but when the gold is infused into our broken places, well, there is a new beauty, a uniqueness that can be used for a purpose we may not yet see.
No matter what you're going through, know that God has a plan and a purpose. That if we let Him, He will do something beautiful with your broken pieces. It doesn't make the pain go away, but it does bring a sense of hope and purpose and trust that God is indeed good and He is not abandoning us. Nope, He's refining us and beautifying us in ways we cannot see.